Willow Arabella Perry was born on October 6, 2016 at 4:40am. She was 8 lbs. 12oz and 21.5in long. Our sweet girl came into this world for only a brief four hours, and then unexpectedly stopped breathing. She went to be with Jesus, only hours after we met her. Though she was with us physically for just a brief time, her spirit and impact on our hearts are eternal. Willow’s life has changed and shaped us. It’s broken us down and brought us to a place of complete surrender. Little did we know that her precious name, Willow Arabella, would be so prophetic about her life.
Willow means slender and graceful, taken from the name of the Willow tree. One of the most valuable traits of the willow tree is its flexibility. The willow tree is one of the few trees that is capable of bending in outrageous poses without snapping. A powerful symbolic meaning of the willow tree is its adaptability, the willow tree’s ability to not only survive, but also to thrive in some of the most challenging conditions. One of the most symbolic meanings of the willow tree is that even through great loss we have the ability to grow and there is potential for something new.
Arabella means yielding in prayer. In an excerpt from Basics of Prayer by Stephen Nielsen about yielding in prayer, he states:
‘Yielding means to relinquish. When we relinquish ourselves to God we are giving up our self-will, we are giving up a “demanding spirit,” and we are seeking no more to do things our way but His way. Thus to relinquish is to accept willingly whatever he sends us, even whatever He demands of us; it is doing whatever He says, and it is going wherever He leads us. But we do not go alone. The life of relinquishment is not lonely or does not give up hope. It is full of hope! For when we relinquish all to God we put our hand in His and He leads us. Hence, the life of relinquishment is being always with Him, being comforted always at His side.’
Willow has taught us to be flexible, to surrender, and to yield in prayer. We will forever be grateful for her sweet life and the impact she continues to make on this world.
-Maggie & Michael Perry